AS reported in last week's paper (December 27), Barry Dock RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew member Marc Gibbons saw his Christman preparations interrupted, as he was deployed to Cornwall to help in a flood rescue.

23-year-old Marc - who was summoned on December 22 while he was on his way to a party - is a member of the RNLI flood response team, undergoing specific training in order to be able to deal with flooding emergencies.

On his return to Barry, Marc said: "I enjoyed my first deployment, although I was nervous.

"I was part of a team who rescued a woman and her family from their car after the river burst its banks.

"The woman was swept downstream and was eventually rescued by the RNLI flood rescue team after 50 minutes in the water.

"I provided the communication and co-ordination support from the fire rescue station, but I did wonder how I would have felt if I was with the rest of the team on the water," he added.

"The training we do provides us with a good understanding of flood rescue techniques, but in the dark and in unfamiliar water and storm conditions it would be easy for things to go wrong."

Marc was called out while on his way to a fancy dress party. A spokesman for Barry Dock RNLI said: "His fellow crew members at Barry Dock Lifeboat Station were disappointed that he didn't travel to the floods in costume!

"But everyone is very pleased that he is back safe and sound, and was able to resume Christmas shopping duties with his girlfriend Gemma!"

The RNLI's emergency response teams undertook several rescues in 2012 - including those carried out by teams from South Wales assisting people caught in floods in Aberystwyth in June and St Asaph in November.